Musica Amata



Dear Antonina,


Thank you so much for the wonderful concert. What a privilege to hear all your amazing students play and to learn of all the different projects you have initiated. I must say that I do love to hear Eve play. The Debussy was beautiful, you both brought the piece to life, and the Rachmaninov was captivating, so powerfully romantic.
I have read the Almanac from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed it. Benedict's story has come out so well. Everything looks lovely!
 I telephoned my mother yesterday evening and told her all about our day. She is looking forward to reading your articles especially the ones relating to your teachers.
I thought that the view Neuhaus held that "Work on the artistic image should begin at the very early first stage of learning the piano and note reading" had been exemplified in your students' performances. What a hidden gem this wonderful concert was.
Best wishes
 Christina Beards

Dear Antonina,

Many thanks for your wonderful concert on Monday evening. Everyone enjoyed it so much. The children, (plus teenager) were so good and the one brave boy among three girls was lovely.

You Antonina made that Piano talk!! What a joy. People were amazed and were in awe. It is so good of you to come to a small church and ''antique'' piano being the professional you are and we all appreciate it so much. Hope you all enjoyed your dinner! 

Sincerely and in friendship


on behalf of all members at South Methodist Church



''It has been a great pleasure to work with Antonina at Barnard Castle School. She is full of energy and expertise and her extensive knowledge of the piano literature is formidable. Her dedication  to her pupils is first rate and they all look forward to their lessons. Her motto ''Perfection takes a touch of madness'' has been adopted as my Prep School music motto. She is constantly practicing when she has a pupil free moment and this not only sets a fine example of dedication, but also keeps everyone in the department entertained and cheerful. She is a rounded musician of a very high calibre and we are fortunate to have her at Barnard Castle School.''    


Matthew Atherton

Barnard Castle School Music Department


Dear Antonina,

What an inspiring concert you gave the audience on Saturday. CONGRATULATIONS! 

If I had been adjudicating a Music Festival, I would have identified your pupils...a lightness of touch, a gentle confidence and above all their musicianship. That all comes from you!

Then, you performed  with your amazing colleagues to further inspire us all. Do pass on my congratulations and thanks.

When Maddy 's playing of a Bach piece in my house moved me to tears I wrote this for her ''Some people play all the notes perfectly...others, REAL musicians, play the music.'' You are a real musician Maddy''

Thank you for being there for all who feature in your lovely Almanac, and the rest of us.

With very best wishes,

Mrs Rita Davies (Maddy Forsyth's Granny)

...I was very interested to read about your academy, sounds very inspirational! Your pupils are very lucky to have the opportunities you are making for them...It sounded so positive that I wish I'd had the type of experience you offer at your academy when I was learning!
...The first clear thing is that you really get the best of your pupils, they all play in such a musical way. All these pieces are 'performed',  and are a delight for me to listen to because they are imaginative and inventive realizations...I value your performances just as much and am so grateful for them - although the pieces are simple not everyone can bring them to life in the way you are very much in tune with the magic that I've tried to create with the music.

 Graham Lynch composer

 ...Thank you for all the time and efforts you put in with me. You helped me grow in confidence on and off the piano. You taught me that I am capable of anything if I put my mind to it, keep on trying and persevering. You helped me with my piano and violin, for which I will always remember you for. You started teaching me when I was a nervous wreck and now you are my friend and you have seen me grow with character. Thank you......

Rachel Farrar

Dear Antonina, thank you for everything, your patience, guidance and insight. I have loved our sessions and you have rekindled my appetite for playing again!

Brian Key 

My Granddaughter Eve now 10 years old began studying with Antonina a year ago. She had had some music tuition but her teacher recommended Antonina to take her further.

Since becoming Antonina's pupil Eve is gaining a greater understanding of music and its composers. She is learning many techniques and through Antonina's dedication, care and enthusiasm she has become confident enough to take part in several concerts and perform in front of her fellow school pupils.

Antonina is undoubtedly a very talented pianist and her joy in playing is evident at her lessons. They are something to look forward to every week.

Jeff Park 

...This is to thank you for inviting us to the children's concert you organised last Saturday. This was the most exciting event of this kind I have ever attended. I have been to other parties organised by music teachers where the students show to each other what they have learned, but I have never been to such a well organised and conducted event. The performance of the children was fascinating and the music was beautiful. I am so glad that my children had this opportunity to see other children perform. I am very impressed with the program you have made giving information about the performing children and the composers that they played. I felt very honoured to be invited there. Since the concert my children practice the piano more often. with lots of love and gratitude to you  for your incredible hospitality
Maria Dimova-Cookson

Antonina Lax is an inspired and inspiring teacher. She connects to each pupil in a special way and takes him or her on a wonderful musical journey - because, for Antonina, the piano is a magical means of transport, not an end in itself. She starts from the place where her pupil is, and connects immediately with whatever musical experience they have already had: a love of classical ballet, or a passion for the Mamma Mia! sound track, a gift for rhythm, or an ability to match pictures to music. She teaches how to play and how to listen: we hear Antonina's music spilling out of the house even before the lesson starts. For my daughter, the high-point of the week is playing with Antonina because 'it sounds so good, mamma'. And then there is the chocolate and a drink of milk (and tea for the parents) and the interesting stories about Bulgaria and Russia, where Antonina learned to play with the help of her mythical teachers: each lesson is a grand adventure.

Barbara Graziosi

In June 2006 I began piano lessons with Antonina.  My finding her was a stroke of luck - I had little idea of how to look for a teacher, or even what my requirements entailed.  To her credit, Toni took me on - an unlikely candidate!  I came with plenty of baggage - 66 years of it, in fact, and a complete lack of musical background or experience but I wanted to learn and this was something she understood very well.  

What I have learnt has gone far beyond my tentative expectations of what ‘piano tuition’ was all about.  I have been generously given a knowledgeable and skilled introduction to a wide, diverse and exciting area called ‘Music’ alongside the practicalities of actually learning the technique of playing - they go hand-in-hand.

I have learnt how to ‘listen’ and developed my own admiration and respect for composers and their music.  I have found the history of music absolutely fascinating, not least because you can today still hear, touch, see, feel and play the actual work of these exceptionally gifted men and women (not many of these!) from past musical eras.

Antonina has inspired me with her playing, given me a wonderful link with her own rich source of learning in Russia, broadened my experience and continues to expand my horizons with her passion and expertise.

Pat Chapman


Antonina's teaching has allowed Megan to learn with confidence. For Megan learning the piano has been more than just playing notes - it has been an holistic approach developing Megan's all round appreciation of music and nurturing creativity and imagination. Megan loves working with Antonina.

David Napthine